CLEMSON - A week off in college football can be a contradiction in terms.
Sure, there's no game Saturday. And the players do get an extra day off here and there.
But the days they work usually are the closest thing to two-a-days a college football player sees after August passes. And Wednesday at Clemson was no exception.
Head coach Tommy Bowden put his team through a tough, physical practice at the Jervey complex, highlighted by an end-of-workout session of live goal line work. Though the media is kept waiting at the front gate of the practice facility, the collisions between offense and defense were easily audible.
"I wouldn't be doing this during a normal week of preparation," Bowden said following the workout. "But the open date is the only time you've got to go back and work on the true fundamentals. If we're doing team work it's (different)..."
Bowden said the Tigers will continue live hitting today, working on short yardage situations as well as individual battles.
The goal? Getting back to the basics.
"One on one is all about the basis of college football: beat the guy in front of you, leverage, low man wins, getting off a block, sustaining a block," Bowden said.
"It's the rawest form of football, and you can't hardly work on that during the season."
Asked about correcting dropped passes by his wide receivers (12 in the past three games), Bowden talked about both concentration and drills which could be used. When broached about the use of a psychologist - a tactic used by some teams both in the college and professional ranks - Bowden shook his head.
"I'm old school, Old Testament. The bench is my psychologist," he said.
The team will practice today, then be given Friday and Saturday off. Clemson will return to the practice field Sunday-Wed. in preparation for next Thursday's game at Virginia.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.